We are facing a global climate emergency and must act now to harness the power of nature to address climate change.
Ireland’s Climate Action Plan includes a target of reducing carbon emissions by 51% over the period to 2030 with 70% of our electricity coming from renewable sources.
Ireland has a positive opportunity when it comes to offshore renewable energy. Favourable wind speeds and sea conditions provide an ideal environment for generating green electricity offshore. Offshore renewable energy is needed to decarbonise our energy supply and reduce greenhouse gas emissions – protecting our environment for current and future generations.
Energia has commenced the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process for the South Irish Sea project. The purpose of EIA is to gather information on the receiving environment and to assess all impacts of the proposed development. To obtain baseline data, we are currently undertaking bird and marine mammals surveys, fisheries, archaeological, navigation and grid assessments within the study area.
Energia made a Foreshore Licence Application to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in 2019 for the South Irish Sea project to enable geotechnical, geophysical, meteorological, and oceanographic data collection. This licence was granted in September 2021 allowing these surveys to commence in the near future. A series of further environmental and technical surveys will be carried out over the coming years. The purpose of these surveys is to provide information to determine the feasibility of the site to accommodate an offshore wind farm.
It is not possible to determine the size of the wind farm at this stage but an indicative capacity of between 600-800MW may be feasible. An underground connection to the electricity grid would also be necessary at an onshore location to be determined.
Thorough environmental investigations will be undertaken as part of the EIA process which will involve extensive public consultations over a period of two or more years. These assessments will consider the impact of the project across a wide range of environmental and social factors, including visual impact. Reports detailing the assessments will be submitted as part of the application for planning permission.